Wednesday, 16 November 2011

“Handwriting is civilization's casual encephalogram.”

Now THAT made me sit up and take notice, Lance Morrow (American Journalist and Essayist, b.1939)

 I was having a bit of a ponder about creative writing in long hand versus using the computer. To date, for all the years I've been a professional writer, I've  used the computer BUT... the weekend, I didn't. I used a pencil and notebook. For those of you who have never seen this outmoded process in action, here is a photo from the archives of history.

I was pleased with the story I wrote with my pencil. Good old pencil.

Yesterday, my plan was to transfer said story on to the computer and finish it. Somehow, the creative juices flowed less easily. This could be because:
  1. There was not silence but the annoying hum and a whirring of the machine
  2. I wasn't on a course where I could shut off from the world
  3. I kept using the online Thesaurus to find different words instead of trusting my instinct
  4. I'm compelled to check e-mails (and blog stats!) every so often (a generous euphemism for about once every 5 minutes)
 Now this is the more unnerving one...

There seems to be a greater gap between my mind and what I create when it's via a keyboard than when I use pencil and paper.

At least, I THINK that's what it is...writing by hand produces my encephalogram, my VOICE. Writing by keyboard produces...a sanitised, edited, considered version of my voice.

SHOCK HORROR! Caroline discovers something that everyone else has known for years.

I'm guessing that the process of using the keyboard drains a lot more of my brain, takes a lot more of my attention than simply splurging out the contents of my febrile imagination using pencil and paper.  I'm not a touch-typer for a start. I do have to concentrate quite hard to find the right keys.

So maybe tomorrow you'll find my blog written by hand on a tree in a forest glade.

I'll send you a Google map reference by e-mail and you can use your Smart Phone to locate it.